“All Glories to Balam Rice and Cow Ghee!”
A Story by Srila Bhaktisidddhanta Saraswati Thakur about a Landlord in whose house no Servant could ever continue to work for long.
There was once a landlord in whose house no servant could ever continue to work for long. the landlord used to appoint new servants frequently and they would leave the job only after a few days. The landlord was much perturbed at this. it was almost impossible for him to maintain the household work without any servants.
One day he was lamenting to one of his friends, “How unfortunate I am! Not even a single servant could stay! What’s the solution?”
Then the friend advised the landlord, “If you follow my advice, then your servant won’t leave you even if you want to get rid of him. You recruit any servant and feed him with a fine variety of Balam rice with cow ghee twice a day. After maintaining him in this manner for six months, then you can give him any kind of job you desire.”
The landlord did as his friend advised. After relishing Balam rice with ghee for six months, no other variety of rice was palatable to his servant. Then the landlord, after the lapse of six long month, started pressuring the servant with all sorts of rigorous jobs. The servant thereafter started making complaints to the assistants of the landlord, “I’m going elsewhere if so much pressure is continued to be put on me.”
In this way whenever there was a little more work to do, the servant used to say, “I won’t stay here any longer.”
One day the landlord told him, “Go wherever you want!” the servant looked for some alternative job elsewhere, but he could not have the satisfaction of fine variety Balam rice and cow ghee.
At last he came back helplessly to the houses of the landlord and continued to stay for a long time. But whenever there was some additional workload, he used to go elsewhere for relief, but as soon as he remembered the satisfaction of Balam rice and cow ghee, he would immediately return to the landlord’s house and used to say that he had developed a sentiment for the landlord and that’s why he was unable to stay anywhere else in peace.
After a few years, when the landlord happened to meet his friend, he shouted out in great joy, “All glories to Balam rice, and cow ghee!”
This anecdote gives us a moral about the influence of women, money and reputation, for which people are desirous. It is very difficult to find a person willing to offer causeless devotional service to Lord Hari in this world. Not a single person wants to stay steadfastly in the devotional institution of Lord Shri Krishna’s family environment. Only motivated with material sense gratification and mundane desires for a few days, some would like to pretend to offer services in Lord Krishna’s family and then would revert to different aspects of material gain, position, and reputation, religion, wealth, fruitive work or liberation to satisfy their thirst for sense gratification.
With a view to attracting such persons by all means, and to enlighten them of their latent potential, all benevolent spiritual masters arrange for Balam rice and ghee to feed them. In other words, spiritual masters make every attempt to retain those truant persons within the family environment of Lord Krishna by way of providing various sorts of position and reputation for them. In the beginning such persons may often play truancy by going away from Lord Krishna’s family, but when they continue to receive some award, prestige, position. honour etc. in the form of Balam rice and ghee or the like, then some of them pretend to show up some sort of s
oft sentiment towards the landlord or the spiritual master. Thereafter such persons are not likely to go away even if they are asked to. Therefore, all glories to Balam rice and cow ghee!
The earnest enterprise on the part of the landlord for the performance of his essential services is tantamount to the earnest desire of a spiritual master or a sincere devotee to satisfy Lord Shri Gauranga, whereas the servant is very well comparable to all sorts of servitors who pretend to serve their spiritual masters in a firm attitude, and Balam rice with cow ghee may rightly be thought of as a servitor’s desire for position, honour, and reputation.